As a Member of the EU Parliament on the Budget Committee for the Alternative for Germany party (AfD), I was able to visit Judea and Samaria August 11-15 and see how the European Union is undermining the peace process and funding illegal Arab settlements in Area C.
First off, I must ask you to forget everything you have read about the AfD from mainstream media, which have often become anti-conservative and anti-Israel. Just as the left-wing media managed to somehow portray Donald Trump, perhaps the most pro-Israel President of the United States ever, as “anti-Semitic”, they have also falsely portrayed the AfD in the same way, the most pro-Israel party in the German Bundestag and the only party which actively seeks to defend Jews in Germany against imported Muslim anti-Semitism.
As head of the “Christians in the AfD”, I have always admired the people of Israel. This was my first visit to the Holy Land, however, and as with Trump and the AfD, I discovered that nothing in Israel is the way the left-wing media would have us believe.
We visited the University of Ariel, where Director Albert Pinhasov told us of his hopes for peace for the region, emanating from his excellent university. We met some of the pioneering settlers in Samaria, like Daniella Weiss and Boaz HaEtzny, son of Elyakim HaEtzny. We visited the Tura winery, where manager Vered Ben Sa’adon told us how the EU boycotts her prize-winning wines, and met Christian volunteers Joshua Waller and Josiah Hilton from Tennessee, who harvest her grapes on the front lines of Nablus.
We spoke to Likud members who are well aware of the dangers posed by anti-Israel governments and the growing violence against Jews in Europe, and are open and friendly to the AfD. We met with NGOs like “Reservists on Duty”, who expose the lies told about the Israeli army by far-left activists like Dean Issacharoff of “Breaking the Silence”. Unfortunately, Dean’s father Jeremy Issacharoff, the Israeli ambassador in Berlin, has yet to condemn his son’s radical agenda, even after the violent riots he was involved in in July. Mr. Issacharoff is apparently too busy giving interviews to the “Neue Westfälische”, a newspaper which is 100% owned by the left-wing Social Democrats, calling the AfD “anti-Semitic” and claiming we seek to “downplay the Holocaust” without any evidence for these outrageous claims.
We as AfD think the best monument to the Holocaust is the living, thriving state of Israel. While Mr. Issacharoff’s leftist friends are happy to give speeches once a year commemorating the Holocaust, especially when they can use them to attack the AfD, we believe actions speak louder than words.
In May, we drafted a bill to outlaw BDS in Germany, forcing the other parties to draft their own, watered-down version.
In June, we drafted a bill to outlaw Hezbollah in Germany, which does a lot of its business here. The other parties all sided with Hezbollah.
And now, my colleague Beatrix von Storch revealed that, while countries including the USA, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium and New Zealand have cut funding for the blatantly corrupt and Hamas-friendly UNRWA, the Merkel government has stepped in to keep UNRWA afloat, more than doubling its funding from €80 million in 2018 to €173,2 million in 2018. The AfD is the only party in Germany that demands an immediate end to this. The AfD is also the only party in Germany which does not fund NGOs that support BDS and terrorism, as NGO Monitor found.
On August 15, I unfortunately had to return to Germany from Israel on important party business, while our delegation from the “Jews in the AfD” stayed on to tour Judea with Naomi Linder Kahn from NGO Regavim. She showed us the Bedouin settlements in the Adumim Area and Khan al Ahmar on Highway 1, and explained how EU money is used to fund illegal Arab settlements in Area C, on land that should belong to the state of Israel. She told us about the Fayyad Plan to illegally annex Israeli territory, and how it is supported by the EU governments.
She even drove us out to Khashem ad Daraj, where the EU spent €310,000 last year to build a road to illegal settlements on IDF training ground. This is a blatant violation of the Oslo Peace Accords, which the EU member states claim to support, and a fraudulent use of taxpayer money. Also, we learned how all the other German parties, from the Leftists’ UAWC to the Christian Democrats’ Society of St. Yves, finance NGOs who support illegal land grabs in Area C.
These are all parties and governments who routinely pay lip service to Israel’s right to exist and the importance of a negotiated settlement in Judea and Samaria. At the same time, they are waging financial warfare and lawfare against the state of Israel. We in the AfD are shocked and appalled to discover just how duplicitous and destructive German and EU policy is toward Israel.
We are only an opposition party at the moment. But we will use all our political leverage to combat this injustice, and invite our friends in the Israeli government, the Israeli parties and the Israeli Ambassador in Berlin, to join us in this fight!
Joachim Kuhs is a trained Auditor. He is a member of the AfD National Committee, head of the “Christians in the AfD” and member of the Budget Committee in the EU Parliament. He lives in Baden-Baden, has 10 children and 12 grandchildren.